Buses dispatched to evacuate refugees from the Rukban camp have not been allowed to pass through the Al-Tanf zone controlled by US troops, Lieutenant General Sergei Solomatin, the chief of the Russian Center for reconciliation of the conflicting sides in Syria, told meida on March 3.
“Despite the fact that the authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic have successfully finished all preparations for refugees’ evacuation from the Rukban camp to the places of pre-war residence, the US turned down a joint request of the Russian and Syrian inter-departmental coordination centers for relocation and accommodation of refuges to allow the transport convoys into the Al-Tanf zone,” Solomatin said, according to TASS.
On March 1, the Damascus government with assistance from Russia sent buses to the Djleb checkpoint to evacuate refugees from the Rukban camp to their permanent residence places in the settlements of Al Khalidiyah, Al-Amarah, Palmyra, Mhin, Al Karyatein, and the outskirts of Damascus, Homs and Aleppo.
The refugee camp, which reportedly hosts about 40,000 people, is located within the US-occupied zone of al-Tanf. US-backed forces blocked access to the security zone.
On March 2, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State said on March 1 that the Russian-sponsored initiatives to evacuated the civilians trapped in the al-Rukban refugee camp does not meet “protection standards”. This remark shows that the US is determined to keep civilians trapped in the al-Rukban camp, likely to use them as a tool to pressure the Damascus government and justify the illegal military presence in al-Tanf.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- In Video: Syrian-Russian Humanitarian Convoy Heads Towards Rukban Refugee Camp In Eastern Syria
- U.S. Says Russian Initiative To Evacuate Al-Rukban Camp Does Not Meet “Protection Standards”